Apr 2 2014
Remember when I took my kids to Disneyland with my ex? And remember how I am kind of a Scrooge and didn’t really enjoy it that much? Well, I took my kids to Knott’s Berry Farm and Amusement Park (home of “Camp Snoopy,” the littler kids section of the amusement park) last weekend without the ex.
Here’s why it was better. And no, it wasn’t better because the ex wasn’t there. I actually really could have used an extra set of hands since Little Man wanted to be held practically the entire time. And no, Knott’s isn’t paying me to say this. I bought my tickets off of some website where things are less expensive than at the ticket counter like all of you.
1. Knott’s is smaller. Square footage, diameter, circumference; you name it and Knott’s has a smaller number before any of those measurements. And that made it more manageable for sure. I could hold the images of the layout of the park in my head all at once, I didn’t get lost, I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the size. It was smaller and sometimes smaller is better. Like now. Talking about Knott’s. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 1 2014
I haven’t been shy about my love for The Maccabeats, the a cappella group from Yeshiva University. But today I’ve got a major announcement: when it comes to one of these handsome singing men, I don’t just love his music. I love him. And we’re engaged!
For privacy reasons, I won’t be revealing his identity quite yet, but know that we are very happy together and plan to have a seder-themed wedding next Passover.
*Gotcha, didn’t I? Happy April Fool’s.
Mar 27 2014
Anyone else starting Passover prep?
Here’s what I did last weekend in order to start the thorough, divinely ordained, obsessive-compulsive, halachically elucidated purging of the five grains the Torah forbids us from consuming, eating, or gaining benefit from during the eight days of Passover, which begin this year on April 14, at sundown.
1. Croutons. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 25 2014
My dad was a junior high school drama teacher for most of my childhood. In all of the schools he taught in, he would approach the special education teachers and ask them if any of their students wanted to be in his drama class. Most teachers didn’t have students interested, but every year, a few students would say yes. So I grew up seeing my father put on plays with students with special needs, and work them seamlessly into his plays, such as deaf students signing their lines right alongside not hard-of-hearing students.
He once had a student with cerebral palsy who had significant difficulty with speech and walking as an active participant in one of his plays, reciting his lines from a wheelchair with great difficulty, but with tremendous heart. Everyone cried at that performance.
It was the gestures of my father’s tremendous heart that made me understand from a very young age that there is no such thing as too small of an act of empowering people with special needs. My father’s efforts impressed entire classrooms of students who got to have the opportunity to work with other students with special needs and learn about patience and flexibility and talent and trust as an artist. And everyone who saw my father’s plays saw what that meant in action. And the parents of the students he taught with special needs got to see their child have an experience rarely open to them. Those moments of my childhood have stuck with me. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 20 2014
The ex and I took our sons to their very first movie theater movie. That’s right, our 8 and 5.5-year-old sons have never been to a movie theater. And their dad shows them some cartoons and they have seen a few short animated films as well as “The Muppet Movie,” but not in a theater. I know: we are horrible parents. We have deprived them for years. They have missed out on so many irretrievably incredible experiences in movie theaters. Whatever. We finally took them to the movies. Yay. (And just think of all the money we saved not taking them to the movies all of these years! Yay!)
Firstborn loved it. Little Man was trepidatious but did great which is astounding considering that the Harlem Globetrotters game near broke his and my spirit with its loudness and overstimulation on so many levels.
Here’s why “The Lego Movie” was awesome for me as well as my boys. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 18 2014
As I wrote about last week, Purim was this past weekend. Yeah, I was feeling pretty grumpy about being a divorced mom who also happens to be a working mom, and I was pretty bummed out that I missed my sons’ homeschool Purim carnival and baking hamantaschen because of my hand and other such Purim festivities.
Now that the weekend has passed, you know what? I’m still pretty grumpy. But I am also feeling a bit better about the whole thing, I promise. Seeing my sons for Purim was great. The wedding we went to went great, despite First Born getting ketchup all over his shirt and tie before the wedding. Here’s me cleaning it off. Why am I laughing about it when I could have been annoyed and upset? A) Because it’s no big deal. B) The Mai Thai I’d had helped. (Sorry! It’s just true!)
The work I did in New York with De Vry University went really well. I was working with them for the second year in a row on National HerWorld Month activities and initiatives to encourage high school girls to learn about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers. The programs specifically focus on giving girls hands-on experience and allowing them to meet women with successful STEM careers in order to foster mentorship relationships, such as the one I had when I was 15, which ultimately led to my pursuing my PhD in Neuroscience. It was a wonderful couple of days with De Vry University and if you are curious about what I did or for more information, feel free to visit the website. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 13 2014
Last year, I was recently divorced when Purim fell. Purim, for those of you not in the know, is a spring holiday commemorating the near destruction and redemption of the Jewish community in Iran some 2000 years ago. For the record, it’s the Book of Esther, God’s name is curiously never mentioned in the entire Megillah that recounts it, and the hero of the story is actually a heroine named Esther. She’s awesome. Anyway.
Last year, amidst the still-clearing rubble of the mess and chaos that is divorce (even one that is managed extremely maturely and lovingly as my ex and I strive to do), my kids assumed that we would do a family costume like we always did. At that time they were 4 and 7. So we did a family costume in the middle of a divorce. We went as the cast of Tintin, with both of my boys as Tintin, my ex as the drunk Captain and me as Snowy the Dog, of course. Here’s me as Snowy in case you missed it last year. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 10 2014
Adar is the month of the Jewish calendar we are in, and it is the month when Purim falls. Purim is the holiday of merry-making, things being turned upside-down, things not being what they seem, desires revealed, identities shifting, and the reminder that a month from now, kitchens will be turned upside down as we prepare for Passover, with all of its delightful obsessive-compulsive cleaning and fastidiousness.
This month for me has definitely been Adar-ish. Lots of shifting of identities, and feeling upside down and trying to right myself. Caring for my sons amidst a book tour that has taken me away from them more than I like has been hard for us all, and we are trying to recalibrate.
Since I have always claimed I am a normal mom, I wanted to share some pictures of a normal mom weekend with my boys. Here’s how it shook down. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 5 2014
The recent study by Dr. Cynthia Colen has a lot of us in the breastfeeding world up in arms. This study declares that benefits of breastfeeding may be “overstated” and our very own Jordana Horn has indicated that this could be an end to Mommy Wars since everyone is just doing their best and we are all good moms and other such positive messages of unity and happiness which I wholeheartedly support!
However, the issues are the following:
1. Academics. This study is not the end all be all of studies. The journal it is published in is not, in my opinion, the foremost journal to look for for this kind of research. The study was based on statistical associations which are not always correlations (they are not the same thing!). It is not a faultless study. It is not “right” simply because it was published. In academia, things are published all of the time which are later edited, revisited, re-analyzed, dissected, contested, and reviewed. That a study exists doesn’t make it a talking point for us moms everywhere. This is an academic paper designed for a statistics and social sciences audience, not for us to use to bolster any particular opinion or lifestyle choice we make based on our lives, work schedules, and decisions. And I would say that even if the study supported breastfeeding. These kinds of papers are not meant for public consumption to draw conclusions about our particular situations. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 3 2014
*Scroll down to the end of this post to enter to win a fabulous VIP giveaway from Mayim’s book release party.
We had a party for my book release last week. PETA hosted it in Los Angeles at their Bob Barker building in hipster Echo Park. We held it on the rooftop, which was amazing because it literally poured rain the night before and we had started the plans to move the party inside. But the skies parted, we held our party outside under the cover of heat lamps, and it started raining again literally an hour after the party ended. Perfect!
Babycakes gave us vegan cupcakes to serve. Greenbar gave us vodka for bartenders to make drinks with. He’Brew gave us kosher beer. We had incredible catered vegan food by my friend Chef Ali, who also contributed some recipes to the book. Ali made BBQ seitan on mini cornbread, mac and cheez bites, vegan goat cheese with balsamic onions over crackers, mini black bean burgers, and buffalo wing tater tots with blue cheese dressing (those were my favorite!). Yum. Read the rest of this entry →